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Greauxing Resilience at Home — City of Asheville, North Carolina: Affordable Housing, Environmental, and Climate Resiliency Initiatives

June 16, 2022

In recent years, Asheville, North Carolina has faced population growth and affordable housing challenges compounded by climate change. Against this backdrop, Asheville also recognizes the importance of retaining its unique sense of place, culture, and character, including protecting trees and natural landscapes. As such, the city is working to ensure that it creates a healthy, livable community resilient to these and other impacts. Over the last two decades, Asheville has released several plans, assessments, and policies related to growing the city’s climate and environmental resilience and ensuring an adequate affordable housing stock. Accordingly, the city has pursued — and plans to continue pursuing — strategies that preserve the city’s culture and character while making the area a safer, more affordable place. Many of these strategies are facilitated through prioritizing the environment and affordable housing in different city plans and incentives-based amendments to zoning ordinances. Asheville serves as an example for other jurisdictions seeking to integrate climate and resilience elements within local governance structures, plans, and zoning ordinances while tackling other local challenges, such as maintaining or increasing affordable housing stock or retaining a distinct local culture. This case study is one of 24 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Greauxing Resilience at Home: A Collection of Lessons and Case Studies from Louisiana and Beyond.

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Greauxing Resilience at Home — City of Atlanta, Georgia: Prioritizing Affordable Housing and Nature in the Face of New Growth

June 16, 2022

Because income in Atlanta has not kept pace with rising costs of living amid a population surge, the city has developed several housing initiatives to increase its affordable housing stock and prevent the displacement of existing residents. In 2019, Atlanta released its One Atlanta Affordable Housing Action Plan (plan), a strategic document that includes quantitative goals and policy and program proposals related to building and preserving affordable housing across the city. In the context of managed retreat, Atlanta’s affordable housing efforts have relevance for policymakers in jurisdictions preparing for population growth due to climate change and other causes. The city is implementing a variety of programs and policies to increase the overall housing stock and increase the affordability of homeownership for current residents. These strategies focus on changes to the land-use and zoning code and various financial assistance programs for homeowners, in addition to securing additional resources for the development of affordable rental homes. The city has also engaged in different planning and zoning initiatives around increasing and maintaining green space and tree canopy in both areas targeted for conservation and new, strategic growth. This case study highlights notable initiatives in Atlanta that policymakers in other growing communities can look to when developing their own affordable housing and anti-displacement programs that are aligned with nature. This case study is one of 24 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Greauxing Resilience at Home: A Collection of Lessons and Case Studies from Louisiana and Beyond.

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Greauxing Resilience at Home — City of Austin, Texas: Affordable Housing and Green Infrastructure Efforts

June 16, 2022

Austin’s housing plan and comprehensive plan set forth a vision of the city embodied by sustainability, social equity, and economic opportunity as it prepares for continued growth. To advance these values, Austin is taking an intentional approach to create “complete communities” — compact and connected neighborhoods where daily needs can be met close to where residents live and work. In the realm of affordable housing, this means increasing housing development across the city to maximize access to transit and amenities, rather than keeping affordable housing concentrated in certain areas or isolated on the city’s outskirts. The city’s housing planning is also informed by an environmental element: building affordable housing in compact and connected communities can also reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions associated with traffic congestion and car dependency. On the environmental side, Austin’s various environmental management departments have renewed efforts to collaborate to increase the city’s green infrastructure and update its watershed management plan. These initiatives recognize the need to integrate various programs and agencies in order to establish a more consolidated approach to achieving the city’s environmental goals. This case study is one of 24 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Greauxing Resilience at Home: A Collection of Lessons and Case Studies from Louisiana and Beyond.

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Greauxing Resilience at Home — City of Norfolk, Virginia: PlaNorfolk 2030, Norfolk Vision 2100, and Resilience Zoning Updates

June 16, 2022

Norfolk, Virginia is a coastal city whose history, economy, and culture are deeply tied to its location on the water. Facing new challenges of increased flooding and sea-level rise due to climate change, Norfolk has responded by developing a host of planning and zoning initiatives that are informed by these new risks and designed to increase the city’s resilience against them. Norfolk’s efforts are an example of how various tools, including a comprehensive plan, a long-range plan, and an updated zoning ordinance, can be used together to build an integrated strategy for local resilience. Norfolk also serves as an example of adaptive planning, in which new needs and priorities that arise over time are integrated as appendices to the city’s comprehensive plan. For example, several appendices to Norfolk’s comprehensive plan were developed to assist developers with housing design challenges that were not addressed in the original comprehensive plan.

Overall, Norfolk’s efforts show how developing a long-range strategy centered on the communities’ priorities can inform zoning rules that implement that vision. Other jurisdictions may look to Norfolk as an example of how local governments can orient and integrate planning and zoning initiatives toward increasing long-term resilience to the impacts of flooding. This case study is one of 24 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Greauxing Resilience at Home: A Collection of Lessons and Case Studies from Louisiana and Beyond.

 

 

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Greauxing Resilience at Home — City of Boulder, Colorado: Affordable Housing, Manufactured Housing, and Environmental Plans and Initiatives

June 16, 2022

The city of Boulder, Colorado is experiencing the joint pressures of rapid regional population growth and climate change — challenges which are not unique to this city alone. Boulder has addressed these challenges in the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan, a plan jointly adopted by the City and County of Boulder to direct decisions on land use, natural and built environments, and climate. The Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan is a strong example of a planning document that places an emphasis on housing and the environment. More specifically, this plan is notable for the following reasons:

  • Developing affordable housing goals and plans for multiple income levels including low-income, moderate-income, and middle-income households to ensure housing security for Boulder’s residents.
  • Developing specific and actionable master plans, such as the Boulder Manufactured Housing Strategy and Action Plan, to address the nuances of the policies highlighted in the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan.
  • Developing policies to identify and preserve the rural-urban divide between the City of Boulder and surrounding areas by creating opportunities for sustainable population growth without threatening the rural character and valuable ecosystems of the Boulder Valley.

The Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan and associated master plans and strategies can serve as examples for other local and regional policymakers seeking to tackle the compounding challenges of population growth, affordable housing, and resilience. This case study is one of 24 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Greauxing Resilience at Home: A Collection of Lessons and Case Studies from Louisiana and Beyond.

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Greauxing Resilience at Home — City of Denham Springs, Louisiana: Denham Strong Long-Term Community Recovery Plan

June 16, 2022

In August 2016, a historic flooding event severely impacted the infrastructure and people in the city of Denham Springs in Louisiana. In response to the flooding, the city worked with its residents to create a long-term recovery plan called Denham Strong. The goal of the plan to increase community resilience in the aftermath of the disaster. The plan lists various affordable housing and mitigation recovery projects under three main categories: (1) Flood Recovery; (2) Disaster Resilience; and (3) Community Development. Denham Strong is a guiding document with the ability to adapt to future changed circumstances in Denham Springs. Denham Strong is a noteworthy example of a recovery plan that encompasses community input, provides examples of projects for stormwater management, includes resilient affordable housing considerations, and keeps the community updated as projects are implemented. Other local governments impacted by disaster events can consider similar opportunities to supplement local comprehensive plans and engage residents with proactive thinking about building long-term resilience. This case study is one of 24 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Greauxing Resilience at Home: A Collection of Lessons and Case Studies from Louisiana and Beyond.

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Greauxing Resilience at Home — City of Donaldsonville, Louisiana: Donaldsonville Strategic Plan 2020–2025

June 16, 2022

The City of Donaldsonville, Louisiana has developed a strategic plan for 2020–2025, which identifies eight strategic priorities to revitalize the city by fostering business development and increasing the city’s standard of living. Among other strategic priorities, the plan addresses: (1) Economic Development; (2) Workforce Development, Job Creation, and Training; (7) Housing, RV Parks, Campgrounds, Mobile or Manufactured Homes; and (8) Infrastructure Revitalization and New Development. Noteworthy recommendations include updating zoning ordinances, launching the Donaldson FIRST program for workforce development, updating aging infrastructure, enhancing mobility and resident’s connectivity to city centers and amenities, and growing green space. The plan was developed through a robust community engagement process that leveraged external support to supplement and expand limited government staff and resources. This plan can serve as an example of how regional and local planners and policymakers in smaller or rural jurisdictions can set and then implement an overarching vision across multiple sectors to address local challenges and increase overall social resilience in a coordinated way. Due to the intersectional nature of this plan, the recommended objectives also have implications on affordable housing and green space efforts, which are especially highlighted. This case study is one of 24 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Greauxing Resilience at Home: A Collection of Lessons and Case Studies from Louisiana and Beyond.

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Greauxing Resilience at Home — Town of Warrenton, Virginia: Fauquier Habitat for Humanity Haiti Street Neighborhood Revitalization

June 16, 2022

Fauquier County is a rural county located in the northern area of Virginia at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Fauquier County is close to the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area where many residents commute for work. Fauquier Habitat for Humanity serves Fauquier County. Fauquier Habitat builds new houses for low-income families and operates a neighborhood revitalization program. One of its neighborhood revitalization projects includes working with the historic Haiti (pronounced “Hay-ti”) Street neighborhood in Warrenton, Virginia. In 2019, Fauquier Habitat acquired multiple properties in the Haiti Street neighborhood for this revitalization initiative. Currently, Fauquier Habitat is constructing about three homes a year in the Haiti Street neighborhood and helping to preserve the neighborhood’s historic culture through these builds. Fauquier Habitat is also preparing families for homeownership and placing families in their Haiti Street homes. Fauquier Habitat has partnered with various local entities for this work and engaged with the community from the start of the project. Fauquier Habitat’s work with Haiti Street serves as an example for other jurisdictions seeking to create permanent affordable housing in rural areas by involving the community and local organizations, as well as setting up future homeowners for success. This case study is one of 24 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Greauxing Resilience at Home: A Collection of Lessons and Case Studies from Louisiana and Beyond.

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Greauxing Resilience at Home — City of Gonzales, Louisiana: Gonzales Comprehensive Plan

June 16, 2022

The City of Gonzales, Louisiana is located in the eastern part of Ascension Parish and centrally located between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Facing increasing retail and commercial development, the city updated its local comprehensive plan to accommodate rapid growth. The Gonzales Comprehensive Plan was created in collaboration with Gonzales’s residents, city staff, various stakeholders, and Gonzales’s elected officials. In the plan, the city presents a clear strategic framework for the future growth of Gonzales. The city addresses Gonzales’s land use and urban design, mobility and transportation, housing, economy, quality of life and city services, and redevelopment of its downtown area. The plan’s affordable housing considerations include diversifying the options and affordability of the housing stock in Gonzales. The plan’s environmental considerations include emphasizing the city’s green spaces and community amenities and benefits, and reducing future flood risk/building overall community resilience. The plan is an example of a local comprehensive plan that addresses growth, while also balancing community needs and environmental conservation in an increasingly suburban area that is experiencing high demands for new development. This case study is one of 24 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Greauxing Resilience at Home: A Collection of Lessons and Case Studies from Louisiana and Beyond.

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Greauxing Resilience at Home — City of New Orleans, Louisiana: Resilient Housing Prototype in the Seventh Ward

June 16, 2022

In the Seventh Ward of New Orleans, Louisiana, a local project team is planning to construct a resilient housing prototype that can adapt to changing conditions in a flood-prone neighborhood. Spearheaded by J.B. Holton and Associates and in partnership with Healthy Community Services and others, the prototype will create two affordable housing units in a duplex specifically dedicated for low- to moderate-income community members. The two single-family homes will be elevated above base flood heights and use hemp-based materials for insulation as a sustainable building material that is more resistant to moisture and pests than traditional insulation. The site will also be landscaped with green stormwater infrastructure features. Overall, this pilot project can be a model for other home developers and communities of what homes in Louisiana can look like to overcome negative stigmas around affordable housing and inspire future actions to increase local resilience in the face of flooding and economic challenges. This case study is one of 24 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Greauxing Resilience at Home: A Collection of Lessons and Case Studies from Louisiana and Beyond.

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